Note to all: Alan Cumming would like you to know that there is no "S" at the end of his last name.

"In my comedy shows, I do a song," says the actor, "I do my own little version called ‘Cumming With a 'G'." He breaks into song: “Oh, it’s Cumming with a ‘G’ not Cummings with an ‘S’..." At this point, Travis Fine, who recently directed Cumming in Any Day Now, releases a loud laugh. We join because, well, how could we not? Cumming's humor is infectiously sarcastic, charming (the Scottish accent helps), and a bit immodest all at once. Simply put, to be around the 47-year-old actor is to laugh. 

In Any Day Now, set in the 1970s, Cumming plays a character (Rudy) who by night performs in a drag show and by day cares for a teenager with Down Syndrome (Marco), whom he tries to adopt with help of his partner, a closeted DA office worker (Paul). When asked about the similarities between his own grandiose persona and that of his character, Cumming proclaims to be “a million miles away from him." He then adds, "I hope that I would be as decent and as strong as him in such ways, but the circumstances in his life are very different than mine.”

We continued our chat with Cumming and Fine to learn more about the genesis of the screenplay, its weighty and powerful subject matter, and how the pair hope the film, which hits theaters December 14, will be received.  

How did you find and adapt the script for Any Day Now
TRAVIS FINE: I was looking for somebody else’s script to direct. I put the word out to a bunch of friends and P.J. Bloom, who is my music supervisor and an old friend from high school, said, ‘My dad wrote this film back in the late 1970s and it never got made. Do you want to read it?’ I have a real love for ’70s cinema, so I was excited about the possibility of making it a period piece. And then there were some elements to the script that I just wanted to bring to it as a filmmaker, [like] the Paul character that was not in the original script. I wanted to create a love story.

ALAN CUMMING: Travis spoke to my manager and agent and he just asked me to do it. I felt, on many levels, that it was an exciting prospect, because it’s about something that I really feel strongly about. It also is an amazing and great character. To sing in that way and to have the songs be a part of the storytelling, it was an amazing overall experience.  

How was it working with Isaac Leyva and Garret Dillahunt, who play Marco and Paul, respectively?
AC: Isaac was just a joy. I didn’t know what to expect at all. I’ve never really known anyone with Down Syndrome, so I didn’t know what to expect and what that would mean in terms of his day-to-day working. He was just enchanting. Enchanting! The first day that we met in rehearsal, he sang a song, looking into my eyes for the entire three or four minutes. It was a long Leona Lewis song. I fell in love with him. And Garret was immediately so open. Any scene where you have sexual action with someone, [you] always set out the ground rules. That never came up with Garret and I. It was just so easy, because we trusted each other.

Alan, how did you prepare for the role?
AC: I lost a little bit of weight because I realized that everyone was skinnier in the ’70s. I read the script and tried to think of all the options and things like that. I don’t really have a process. I try to keep it as simple as possible. That’s why it’s lovely to look at Isaac. He’s completely in the moment and completely pure. His emotions were always available and genuine. That’s what acting should be like.

How do you hope the film, and the story of this unconventional family unit, will be received? 
TF: Hopefully it generates conversation and is something that provokes thought. It certainly takes place 30 years back. As we all know, there are things that are happening today that directly mirror. We have two executive producers who took seven years and a ton of money to defeat the state of Florida in winning the right to adopt the child that they had cared for and wanted to love. These are two men who have been partners for 20 plus years and have fostered 33 special needs children. Yet it took until they went to the highest court in Florida to get the right to be this child’s parents.

AC: That’s crazy. This film has won lots of audience awards at film festivals—loads of them—and only one of [them] was a gay film festival. People are really connected to it and obviously moved, even shaken, by it. It’s perhaps a film that they wouldn’t immediately think of matter-, issue- and subject-wise, but it transcends that.

What other projects are you working on?
AC: I’m on The Good Wife until March, and then I’m supposed to do Macbeth. I did it last summer and am going to do it again for a short run on Broadway. 

TF: In May we start shooting the next film. It’s an original that I wrote. It falls under a rock-and-roll dramedy. It’s called The Chicks, for now. I might change that.

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